Acute situational allergies...
By Bret Scott
After Day 3 of this wild ride, I am suffering greatly from the acute Scott Allergy syndrome. Those of you who know me, get my drift. It turns out that everything about this experience makes my eyes tear up so that it is hard to see anything. The kind of allergy symptoms that really have no cure, but causes a swelling and burning in my heart.
I have to admit that I had been skeptical about the whole project from the very beginnning....change kids lives with a couple of weeks of English lessons half way around the world? Yeah right. I humbly apologize to the universe as I am now eating crow for having had those thoughts.
As I sit here in our luxurious 1.2 star hotel in beautiful Kullu, Himachal Pradesh I am reflecting on the great experiences over the past few days. Most of the kids who have written blog entries thus far have described the totally awesome roller coaster rides on the India roads. I am at a loss for words to describe how amazing the traffic works. It's as if all cars, buses, motor cycles and pedestrians are somehow connected and can anticipate each others' next moves.
I am honored to be working with "Team Rojo" in the Bandal Public School in which 27 younglings ages 5-9 spend their days. Talk about some humble pie. These kids are some of the happiest creatures on the planet attending a run down, severely under-funded neighborhood public school hanging off the side of a ridiculously steep mountain at the "Lap of the Himalayas".
We spend our days working through the YMAD curriculum, playing games, and getting to know these loving and adorable kids. It is way more difficult than we expected, but at the same time, way more rewarding ( for us anyway). The 5 of us (Jordan, Lauren, Emily, Zeke and I) are having a ball spending some seriously quality time with these lovable youngsters who are eager to learn and who are enamored with their new white bread friends from the USA. After work today, team Rojo was pumped as our planning last night paid off and we all felt great about the progress made in the teaching today. I am so proud of each of them for giving this their all. We said before we came that we wanted to "have no regrets" when we came back home, and that we had given all we were capable of. Today we started to feel it happen.
Tonight we met with Raj to discuss the service projects we'll be completing this next weekend for each of the schools, and how we can spend the funds raised. We are planning some repair and upgrades to their schools, kitchens and bathrooms. I was so impressed as Iistened to Raj talk about how he will help us execute the plans for the school improvement projects we have come up wth in conjunction with our schools' local leaders. I was so touched to hear the genuine concern that Raj has for these small struggling communities and how mother YMAD can help to make India a better place.
I am so very grateful for Marce and Chris who invited me along on this adventure. It's unlike anything else in the world. I will be looking forward to next year's adventure!
Thanks for all your support!